- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2001

When Jane Fonda was 13 years old, her mother went into the family bathroom, closed the door and slit her throat from ear to ear. Just outside the door, she left a note for the maid that there was a mess inside, and to please clean it up. That evening, Jane's father, Henry Fonda, went on stage, as usual, to perform the role of "Mr. Roberts" in the Broadway play in which he was starring. He never told his daughter her mother had committed suicide. She was to learn about it three years later at summer camp in the pages of a movie fan magazine.
These biographical details are brought to mind by the "V-Day Demonstrations," scheduled for 50 cities, over 200 college campuses and Madison Square Garden, which Jane Fonda has bankrolled to the tune of $1 million. These are an effort by feminists across the country to transform Valentine's Day, a millennia-old celebration of romance and friendship, into a "Violence Against Women Day" an orgy of hatred against men. A novelist could not have formed the metaphor of Jane's childhood trauma more acutely: Valentine in Violence.
But even though Jane Fonda has provided the organizing funds, the event itself is not merely an expression of personal distress. It is a social movement, a gathering and statement of the forces of the political left. The manifesto of the organizers "proclaims Valentine's Day as V-Day until the violence stops. When all women live in safety, then it will be known as Victory Over Violence Day."
Of course, the idea that some day all women will "live in safety" is a utopian fantasy the impossible dream of a kingdom of heaven on earth, where the sick will be healed and the wounded made whole. How is this world the real world of flesh and blood human beings ever going to be made safe for children like Jane? Or for any human being female or male given what human beings are and what they have shown themselves to be capable of since the beginning of time?
The messianic illusion that will energize the thousands of women who flock to Jane's cause reflects the fact that the cause itself is not a political movement, but a crypto-religion. A yearning for redemption without God, but through their own political action. It is a substitute for a God who could accomplish the miracle they yearn for, but who for whatever reason, is absent in their hearts. The actress Glenn Close, who is adorning the event, put it succinctly when she described the woman who actually came up with the idea for V-Day this way: "She is giving us our souls back."
Like all political religions, it is also a religion of hate. In authentic religions, God judges, God redeems and God forgives. In authentic religions, each of us understands ourselves as a sinner, and none mistakes himself or herself as a redeemer. In political religions, human beings act as God, judging and condemning, and there is no redemption. This is the bloody history of the left the saga of the guillotine and the gulag which continues now into the new millennium.
Which is why the left wants to take the one holiday a year dedicated to the love human beings do manage to show for each other, and turn it into a day when women can vent their rage against men. According to the organizers of V-Day, "22 percent to 35 percent of women who visit emergency rooms are there for injuries related to ongoing abuse." This makes the United States, in their eyes, one of the most repressive and barbarous places on earth for women.
But as Christina Hoff Sommers notes in USA Today, the actual figure of abuse according to Bureau of Justice statistics is one-half of one percent. Why the wild exaggeration? To foment hate against the devil. As Miss Sommers puts it: "The true numbers are apparently not high enough for V-Day proponents. They are determined to implicate the average American man in an ongoing social atrocity and to place the United States on a moral par with countries that practice genital mutilation and bride burnings."
Jane Fonda's life has been consumed with hatreds like this in the name of love. She committed treason in Vietnam, indicting American soldiers over Radio Hanoi as "war criminals," and abetting their torturers on a visit to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," which housed our prisoners of war. She said at a college rally in Michigan once that "If Americans understood communism, they would go down on their knees and pray for it to come."
Jane's hatred for America and her love for communism have been central tenets of the leftist religion for nearly a century now. There are not many leftists any longer who would defend the gulag itself as they once did. Even Marxism has undergone revisions. In the old days, the crypto-religion demonized "the ruling class." Now, a trinity of hate has been added to the old formula of belief. It was prominent in the chants at the inauguration of a Republican president just this January: "George Bush go away racist, sexist, anti-gay." The same exaggeration, the same will to believe in themselves as the redeemers of us all.
The founder of V-Day is Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues" a cornucopia of hatred against men. Celebrities like Jane Fonda and Glenn Close refer to themselves as soldiers in "Eve's Army." How fitting. Eve, the mother of us all, who was tempted by the serpent to "become as God," and who instead led our fall from grace and into the vale of suffering and tears from which the left promises to redeem us.

David Horowitz is president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

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